PERSoNA News

Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications

Web habits

Posted by Nick on June 13, 2008

After using the questionnaire at the TEL Day and the limited information that it generated regarding respondent’s awareness and use of SNAs I’ve been pondering the best way to move forward with PERSoNA and got to thinking about my own “workflow” and how I personally use the Web (1.0 and 2.0).

Both at home and at work I use Firefox with two tabs set to my iGoogle page and leedsmet.ac.uk. The university homepage gives me a window on my immediate environment, keeps me informed of what is happening elsewhere in the university and gives me access to various resources useful for work – though very much Web 1.0, it engenders a (largely passive) sense of community.

I find iGoogle a useful hub from which to move out into the wider web; I try to keep it relatively uncluttered with just two or three tabs and it’s primarily an interface for me to access my web-mail, store a few pertinent bookmarks and access various feeds from around the Web. (It’s also quite a useful search engine!)

As for my own use of “social networking”, it’s actually fairly limited and I tend to be something of a butterfly – I’ve registered with innumerable sites and applications, added buttons and plugins galore to Firefox and was briefly addicted to Tetris on Facebook – but very few of these become anything more than a fad. I’ve still got a del.icio.us button on my browser but I rarely use it. I do “use” Facebook slightly more but not professionally, particularly – though I am interested in developing a Facebook app that can search the Leeds Met Repository.

As I spend more time at my blogs (this and Repository News) they have, in addition to iGoogle, started to become the other “rooms” that I like to sit in and a useful place for me to put stuff that I might wish to revisit in the future and that might be useful for the projects. The point is that for me, and it’s obviously a personal thing, I feel more comfortable having a small number of “bases” on the Web (iGoogle, my blogs, Facebook a bit) and I’ve got very much into an habitual pattern of use – specifically with iGoogle – that I’m unlikely to break though it will certainly evolve; for example, I’m sure that Leeds Met Repository will become another familiar “room” for me but then I have a very clear motivation to visit it, practice a bit of Feng Shui and, I hope, encourage others to visit. Often.

We are all, I think, creatures of habit and I guess I’m very interested in other people’s Web habits – specifically academic staff – as a possible developmental route for PERSoNA. So I need to think how best to formally gather such information.

Post script: I’m just going to drop a resource in here that I found in another user’s del.icio.us account:

http://www.danah.org/SNSResearch.html

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2 Responses to “Web habits”

  1. […] will actually use and find useful; and then there is the problem of inertia – I discussed in a recent post how my own “workflow” is centered around iGoogle; this isn’t because iGoogle is […]

  2. Nick said

    A comprehensive account of personal web-habits from Overdue Ideas. Albeit from a self confessed geek.

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